Picture of author.

For other authors named Ross King, see the disambiguation page.

16+ Works 9,917 Members 198 Reviews 10 Favorited

About the Author

Ross King is the award-winning and bestselling author of Brunelleschi's Dome, Michelangelo and the Popes Ceiling, The Judgment of Paris, Mad Enchantment, Leonardo and the Last Supper, and Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power, among other books. He and his wife live in Woodstock, Great Britain.

Works by Ross King

Associated Works

Art: Over 2,500 Works from Cave to Contemporary (2018) — Introduction — 421 copies
I Wish I'd Been There, Book Two: European History (2008) — Contributor — 153 copies


15th century (62) 17th century (45) 19th century (36) architecture (546) art (778) art history (491) biography (301) books (75) books about books (79) Brunelleschi (75) engineering (35) England (46) Europe (55) European History (81) fiction (302) Florence (241) France (98) historical (50) historical fiction (136) history (1,076) Impressionism (110) Italian History (99) Italian Renaissance (40) Italy (542) Kindle (50) London (38) Michelangelo (164) mystery (86) non-fiction (616) novel (46) own (37) painting (89) Paris (63) read (83) Renaissance (474) Rome (69) Sistine Chapel (89) to-read (503) unread (57) Vatican (57)

Common Knowledge



A thorough biography of bookseller Vespaniano da Bisticci, which also contains much fascinating information about many of his clients and patrons, as well as a readable account of the biblio-culture of fifteenth-century Italy. Yes there is a lot of detail here, but it's quite readably done.
JBD1 | 12 other reviews | May 19, 2024 |
Ross King's book about Vespasiano da Bistricci, a bookseller who lived in Florence during the Renaissance is packed with information. His research is extensive and, I guess, this is why the book stretches to 400 pages. I was fascinated by the stories about handmaking book making and what was involved in the 15th century, the scholars and rich people Vespasiano rubbed shoulders with and the emergence of printing presses that eventually reached Florence. However, I was flagging by the end and probably skipped quickly through some fascinating sections. Ross King has moments when he conjures up the 15th century streets of Florence vividly and I loved these. I learnt plenty from the book.… (more)
CarolKub | 12 other reviews | Mar 18, 2024 |
This isn't your average art history book. King's story of how the famous dome atop the Santa Maria del Fiore was born is engrossing and entertaining. This isn't just a book for engineers or art history nerds. It's an approachable tale to fifteenth century Florence and one of the greatest architectural marvels of that time.

Paragraphs of engineering details are broken up by Brunelleschi's colorful life: the pranks he played, the feuds he fought, and the secrets he kept. Readers come away, not just knowing how the dome was constructed, by who constructed it. Filippo Brunelleschi could be a called a late bloomer, as he doesn't start gaining recognition until well into adulthood, compared to his peers. Once he arrives on the scene, however, his genius makes up for lost time. Winning contest after contest with his inventions that helped construct the famous dome, it almost becomes funny just how intelligent Brunelleschi is. Even so, he still inspires awe.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in architecture, the Italian Renaissance, or a light history read. It's short, and a great addition to any library.
… (more)
readerbug2 | 68 other reviews | Nov 16, 2023 |
Fascinating history of the Sistine Chapel ceiling art, from how Michelangelo wanted nothing to do with it at the start to how out of pocket the Pope was during the whole process. This is a quick read that doesn't get too bogged down in the details, very enjoyable.
KallieGrace | 30 other reviews | Oct 26, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Charts & Graphs